This morning, I testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet about "Video Competition in a Digital Age." The focus of the hearing was to "examine competition in the video programming marketplace, including access by multichannel video programming providers and consumers to programming both via television and the Internet." Testifying along with me were: Verizon Vice President Terrence Denson; Sunflower Broadband CEO Patrick Knorr; "Battlestar Galactica" executive producer Ronald Moore; Disney Media Networks President of Global Distribution Benjamin Pyne; and Cablevision Chief Operating Officer Thomas Rutledge.
I my remarks, I argued that the critical question that should govern debates about the state of the media marketplace is: "Do citizens have more news, information, and entertainment choices at their disposal today than in the past?" As told the Committee, "all the evidence suggests the answer to that question is, unambiguously, "yes.""
Indeed, although humans have lived in a state of extreme information poverty for most of history, we now live in a world of unprecedented media abundance: Increasingly, we can obtain and consume whatever media we want, wherever and whenever we want. Citizens of all backgrounds and beliefs benefit from this modern media cornucopia.
Nowhere has this abundance been more evident than in video programming. ... we have more video options and diversity at our disposal today than ever before, and generally at falling prices. In sum, there's more competition for our eyes than ever before. [...]
America's video marketplace should be viewed as a pro-consumer success story. With an abundance of choices, competition, and diverse viewing options, the only real scarcity remaining today is our personal time and attention spans--not video options.
Testimony of Adam Thierer at House hearing Video Competition in a Digital Age 10-22-09